Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don’t have a Kindle? No sweat!

For those of us [yes, myself included] who do not own a Kindle, HILL 170 is still available. Go to Amazon and download the Kindle application for your computer.

Free Kindle for PC click here

 Free Kindle for Mac click here

In fact, Kindle is accessible on just about everything!

Free Kindle for Mobile Devices click here

And, if you’re still not sure if you want to part with the $2.99 [what is that? One Big Mac? Half a Starbucks?] you have the choice to sample the book. And it’s a good sample, too. I tested it and was happy with where the sample ended [I did not get to choose]. You will be hooked.

My only concern is the memo [] which, when viewed on a Kindle can be turned sideways for the two pages but on a PC, well, people will need to crane their necks for two pages. Or they might just skip the memo. I wouldn’t recommend that; the memo helps ‘set the scene’ as it were.

1st novel - on Amazon!

Well, it’s official! My 1st novel is now for sale at Amazon! Woo-hoo!

HILL 170 on Amazon click here

It almost doesn't seem real but finally, after years of writing, re-writing, researching, editing and blood sweat and tears my book is actually available for everyone to read. I’m very excited and [I say this with true humility] proud that I was able to do it. I am very grateful for the new technologies that have shifted the world of book publishing into this much sleeker form which allows someone like me - someone who does not live in New York, does not have friends or relatives in New York publishing and has not written a vampire-laden story about New York, someone who has written [what I think is] a great and gripping story with characters readers can care about and associate with - to make this story available for anyone to read, and make it incredibly affordable. In many places $3 is not enough for the bus/subway/train… people would take just to get to the library to borrow the book.

Very exciting.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


It’s uploaded!

Now I just have to wait the 24 hours and hope there are no errors in the processing and then - boom - my first novel is available for purchase and hopefully everyone will buy it, love it, recommend it and it will be a box office blockbuster next summer!

Well, a guy can dream, can’t he?


I’ve heard people are having problems leaving comments. Apparently blogger [owned by Google?] requires people to sign in to leave a comment.

Beneath the 'Post a Comment' box is the 'Comment as' drop down menu. If you have a gmail [Google Mail] account select Google Account from this drop down list and use your sign in info. The same goes for the other choices [some of which I don’t recognize; what is an AIM or an OpenID? Is there a OpenEGO? Guess I oughta google ‘em]

If you don’t have a gmail account you might want to get one - it’s free email that you can access from any internet connected system [very handy when you’re away from home] and it allows you to post comments on cool blogs - like mine ;p

Monday, April 25, 2011

The cover is done!

Here’s what I came up with. What do you think? I was leaning toward the red cover but when viewed as a thumbnail image [the size it will be shown in the Kindle store/Amazon page] the blue cover is much clearer. So, for now, the e-book version will use the blue. When print copies are available I may go with the red. I gotta say, if I saw that on the shelf [or better yet, right at the front of the store on display with the other best sellers!] I'd pick it up.

I’d love comments - after all, people really do judge books by their covers.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Once more into the breach

Okay, so I’ve done a trial upload of the book - all 340 pages of it [340 MS Word pages that is]. So far so good; with one or two minor exceptions. For some reason the preview [again with the preview! - A Pox On All Previews I say!] shifts the top line of each page to the left [Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s left handed like me]. Also, the html that is generated automatically by the process feels the need to add a single dash after chapter headings, like this:

Chapter 1

Eh? What gremlin floats behind the preview window?

Neither of these issues shows up in either my original HILL 170.doc nor the html I export from Word. So sure, I’m a bit stumped. But I will move forward! As I checked the preview I found myself getting hooked by the story again - and I’ve already read it at least thirty times! So this baby has got to get out to the reading public. And soon. Summer is coming and in June I have to start piecing together my next novel.

Two more steps to go - copyright and a cool cover. A possible third step would be uncovering an effective anti-Preview-gremlin voodoo spell….

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A quick Q for Kindlers

 I have an image [a memo] that plays an important role in my novel. When I test it on Amazon’s preview it shows a bit small and fuzzy. The tech notes say that’s to be expected but I’d hate for it to be too hard to read. When I test it split across two pages [wide and short vs. the standard tall and narrow] the text is much easier to read in the preview.

So my question is - how do you Kindle readers feel about turning your device sideways [landscape] for two pages and then back to normal [portrait] for the rest of the book? Is it irksome? No big deal? Your input would be a great help.

Btw, I’m uploading my thriller to Kindle first, with Nook and other ereaders quickly to follow - so don’t worry if you’re not a Kindler, you’re not forgotten!

Monday, April 11, 2011

HILL 170 excerpt

A short bit from chapter 22. Moon is the owner of a bar just off the American military base; a bar frequented by many members of HILL 170. The 'He' is Han, Moon's Chinese controller. They both have pivotal roles to play in HILL 170. This excerpt gives a taste of their characters. Hyunli is a young bar girl who meets her end early in the novel.

Why should I be frightened? He is nothing to fear.
The thought rang hollow and false in her mind. Moon knew that ice ran in his veins and he could end her life with no more fuss than finishing a cup of tea.
She arrived at the coffee shop he had chosen for their rendezvous. She kept her distance as she scanned the small lunch time crowd.
He forces me to meet him in the open, to pass secrets in the open! And he uses those difficult terms, so abruptly that sometimes I stumble in my report...I'm sure he does it intentionally so he can punish me! He is such a bastard! I wish I could kill him!
At that thought he appeared at her side, wearing an ice cold smile, and made her heart jump into her throat. She gasped.
"Ah, what a pleasant surprise to see you here, Dear Sister. Do you have time to join me for tea?" Without waiting for a reply he directed her to his small table in the most open spot he could possibly have chosen. On the table was a teapot, two cups and a Korean language newspaper. He purposefully led her around the table so that she could see the section he was reading. The newspaper was folded to the story of a recent murder.
He pretended to accidentally notice the article as they sat down. "Oh, such shocking news. It appears there was some horrible mishap in the capital. A woman was murdered. The article mentions she had a cut so severe that the poor woman's head was nearly detached from her body." He smiled as if telling her he had won the lottery.
Moon's right hand strayed to her throat, her fingers brushing the long scar on her own neck.
"Such a terribly ghastly way to die," he continued casually. "Do you think the police will be able to find the killer?"
Moon could not respond. He was fastidious; he expected things neat and tidy, except when he was making a point to someone else. She wondered what failure brought such a brutal death to the woman. A quick look into his eyes and she saw that he knew what she was thinking.
"The article mentions her hands were tied. Her killer must have taken some time to finish that cut." He pursed his lips in thought. "I imagine she must have died very slowly. Don't you find that horrible?"
Try as she might Moon could not tear her eyes away from his cold, black stare.
"Well, enough of that." He poured two cups of tea and leaned back into his chair. “It has been only a week, yet it seems so long since we have had a chat. The last two days have been dreadfully busy. How is your family, Dear Sister?"
Moon’s dry mouth made it hard to speak. "One of my sisters has had two new babies." [note - earlier dialogue clarifies this to mean two new recruits to Moon's spy network]
"Oh is that not wonderful?"
Moon did not smile. "One of my nieces caught a flu."
He crossed his legs and sipped his tea. "I am sorry to hear that; is she very sick?"
A quick flash of Hyunli’s dead body appeared at the forefront of Moon’s mind. "Very."

Okay, here we go!

My first blog [or would blog post be more accurate?] Years down the road I, and hopefully my fans, will look back at this page and think "Wow! That's where it all started. Ah such humble beginnings. Ah, such amateur blogging!"

Hello and thanks for stopping by. As the blog name suggests I am a novelist. I am about to launch my debut novel HILL 170 - a true page-turner of an espionage thriller.

When a USAF intel operative 'liberates' China's next-gen missile engine, he sets off a string of events that threaten to take down Hill 170, American intel's eyes and ears in Northeast Asia. Sergeant Dodge Bryce is the natural born star of Hill 170 and USAF intelligence on the South Korean peninsula. His remarkable string of intel discoveries has helped America greatly, and cost the PRC dearly. Han, a masterful Chinese assassin deployed in the nearby 'ville' of Songtan, has been chomping at the bit to push the US out of Asia. Bryce's actions give Han his ultimate green light.

Once I figure out how to do it I will link to an excerpt. [done]

People have asked me what other novelists I might compare with. So far I've heard Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Dale Brown. But I've also had someone once say I look like Kevin Costner [!?!? We wouldn't even pass for distant cousins thrice removed!], so I take comments with a grain of salt. My influences and the greats that I aspire to are Michael Crichton [particularly mid-career] and James Clavell, among others. After reading some [then all] of HILL 170 hopefully some of you can share your comparisons. I see that as a great way for me to discover authors as well.

The novel is complete. It's been read, proofread, re-read, edited, re-edited...the bun is ready to come out of the oven. As far as getting HILL 170 ready for sale and in your hands I still have a few things to figure out - such as setting up and testing proper formatting for the nook and kindle [initially]; the best method[s] for getting the word out that it's available, and learning how to get it into a wide variety of ebookstores. Oh, and of course make a great cover! I am always open to helpful comments/tips on these items; interaction with readers is one of the great things about epublishing.

If the excerpt gets you hooked come back weekly for updates on my progress for uploading my novel. If you love the novel please tell your friends and link to this page.